Recently President Barack Obama declared 3 new sites national monuments. All three of these places are an important part of American history and help tell the story of America. They include an industrial district, internment camp and a canyon.
Pullman District, Chicago
This 203-acre site was the first industrial town that was planned in the U.S. It was built by George Pullman in the 1800’s. Its site has a railway car company that dates back to 1867 as well as a variety of buildings and houses. This district is so significant as it was the home to the first strike in the 1890’s which lead the national holiday that honors workers, known as Labor Day. In addition to this some of the workers won a labor agreement that was unheard of at that time. Some claim that this has paved the way for the development of the African American middle class. Throughout the years the district has become run down, but many residents are working to restore the area. It has been featured in several movies like The Fugitive and Road To Perdition. The popular animated children’s movie, The Popular Express even featured a few scenes that used recreated buildings from the Pullman district in the movie.
Honouliuli Internment Camp, Hawaii
This World War II internment camp is situated close to Pearl Harbor. It first opened in 1943 and was used to hold a variety of captors from Europeans-Americans to Japanese-Americans. It held around 4,400 different captors throughout its existence. Although, this camp brings up bad memories for some, for other it brings about memories of bravery and perseverance during this dark time in history. After the camp was closed it was leased and used to grow sugar cane until 2007 when the Monsanto Corporation bought the land.
Browns Canyon National Monument, Colorado
This 21,000-acre site is located in the Arkansas River Valley. It is home to a variety of wildlife including bald eagles, peregrine falcons and the bighorn sheep. It is a popular spot for outdoor activities like fishing and hiking. It’s one of the most visited destinations in the country for those that want to go whitewater rafting.
Presidents have had the authority to designate national monuments since 1906 thanks to the Antiquities Act. One of the main benefits of becoming a national monument is that these sites will now be protected. In total President Obama has now designated 16 sites as national monuments since coming into office.